UPDATE (5:11pm PT, July 21, 2016): Hunter Pence is in the lineup for the River Cats' Thursday game against the Zephyrs, while Joe Panik is out.
BOSTON -- The Giants had hoped to get Hunter Pence back early. Instead, the right fielder is simply on schedule.
Pence was out of Triple-A Sacramento's lineup again on Wednesday, giving him three straight games off after his hamstring flared up during his first rehab game. Manager Bruce Bochy said Pence could play Thursday, but he also acknowledged that Pence is no longer likely to return during the next homestand.
"Again, it's being cautious," Bochy said. "It's not like he's behind. We were just getting encouraged with the progress he was making and thought he might be ready early."
Pence had hamstring surgery on June 9 and was supposed to be out for eight weeks, although the Giants left the door open for him to return in six. Assuming Pence does not find a way to return before the next trip, the earliest he would be back would be August 2, which is why Bochy said he's now closer to the original schedule.
While Pence isn't in tonight's lineup, Joe Panik is set to go seven innings for the River Cats. He'll play nine tomorrow, and it's possible that clears him to return this weekend.
There's good news for Matt Duffy, too. He did some running yesterday and his Achilles reacted well.
"It looks like he's turning a corner, knock on wood," Bochy said.
There's no timetable for Duffy to start a rehab assignment, but he's certainly closer than he was two days ago.
--- In case you missed it, here's my podcast with Trevor Brown, who incredibly has not played since July 3. After we taped it, Brown talked about how he really wanted to play at Fenway. He'll get his shot.
--- Matt Cain pitched here when the Giants visited in 2007. Here's the box score from that game.
"Gosh, I won't forget that game," Bochy said when it was brought up. "We got swept here and lost 1-0. He threw a beautiful game."
Does Bochy remember who drove in the only run with a homer?
"Manny Ramirez," he said quickly. "Like I said, I won't forget that game."
--- A New York reporter noted that it would be cool to see Madison Bumgarner hit at Yankee Stadium, even though Bochy said Tuesday that he'll have a regular DH on Friday. Bochy smiled, and pointed out that the manager can always mix it up.
"One more shutout may change my mind," he said, laughing.